BY GREG BURTON
Special to Southern Indiana Preps
CLARKSVILLE — Providence coach Scott Hornung wants his team to end the season focused. After a challenging stretch of four games against good competition, he wants his players to maintain the intensity they showed during that stretch.
Tuesday night, the Class 3A No. 6 Pioneers were at home against Corydon Central. It is apparent that Hornung's team understands his desires and intentions. Providence overpowered the Panthers by a 12-1 score in five innings. The Pioneers hit and pitched extremely well in the contest in running their record to 13-3.
"It was exactly what I asked them to do," said Hornung. "I've asked them to finish the last two weeks of the regular season with as much focus as they had during that four-game stretch that we played the last two weeks. I thought they carried out the plan as we talked about."
Hurler Zach Tackett got his first start of the season, moving his record to 2-0 with the win. Tackett pitched four innings, scattering three hits, striking out three and walking two. He gave up the lone run to Corydon in his last inning of work. The performance earned the accolades of his coach.
"I'm very much satisfied with Zach," said Hornung. "It was his first start of the year. We have nine games coming up in the next two weeks, so we need to have some good outings by our starters. We're trying to give some guys some rest as we head into the postseason run, and not use their arms so much. Zach gave us exactly what we needed out there."
The Pioneers’ offense, likewise, shone in the game. Providence started early and was relentless at the plate.
They scored four times in the bottom of the first inning, sending eight men to the plate. After Preston Taylor reached first base by being hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, Joe Wilkinson followed with a single.
Timmy Borden drove in the first run of the game on a groundout to shortstop. Adam Uhl and Eli Watson followed with singles. Reece Davis then grounded out to short, and by that time the Pioneers had plated four runs to run the lead to 4-0 after one inning of play.
The Pioneers chased starter Avery Timberlake in the second inning. In 1 1/3 innings he gave up six runs, all earned.
Providence added two more runs in the second inning, a single run in the third and then put the game away by scoring five times in the fourth inning to run the score to 12-1.
For the four times at-bat the Pioneers took, they accumulated 10 hits.
"(The hitting) was a continuation of what we've been doing," said Hornung. "We've been taking some extra batting practice, trying to focus in on having some good at-bats. It was a good performance. Ten hits in four at-bats — I'll take that.”
Corydon scored its only run in the fourth inning. Singles by Shelby Deaton and Chase Straub, followed by a base on balls on Logan Murphy loaded the bases. Deaton scored on a ground ball by Noah Windell. By this time, though, the Pioneers led 7-1, and it was too little, too late.
The loss dropped Corydon to 9-9 on the season.
Borden relieved Tackett in the fifth, shutting the visitors down in order, striking out two in the process.
Providence will play three games in the next four days as a part of a busy end-of-season schedule. Wednesday the Pioneers will be at home against Switzerland County. Friday evening, they will travel to New Washington. They will conclude their week at home Saturday evening against North Harrison.
"Our challenge for the next two games is to keep playing at our level," said Hornung.
PROVIDENCE 12, CORYDON CENTRAL 1
Corydon 000 10— 1 3 4
Providence 421 5x—12 10 1
W — Zach Tackett (2-0). L — Avery Timberlake (0-2). 2B — Timmy Borden (P).
Records: Providence 13-3, Corydon 9-9.
Multiple hit players: Providence — Borden 2-3, 2 RBIs, 2 SB; Christian Graf 2-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 SB.
Tackett pitching line: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 K, 2 BB.
Timberlake pitching line: 1 1/3 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 K, 1 BB.